Cynthia Sharpe

Principal, Cultural Attractions & Research

As Principal of Cultural Attractions and Research for Thinkwell Group, Cynthia is responsible for bringing guest behavior, museum, and education perspectives to Thinkwell projects.

Her twenty years of experience spans creative direction, experience master planning, educational curriculum development, and strategic planning across a variety of verticals with a strong focus in cultural attractions, theme parks and destinations, and major cultural events. Her work combines content research and development, behavioral theory, best practices in pedagogy, and creative leadership for a range of clients, including Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History, Google, Warner Bros., San Diego Zoo, The Adler Planetarium, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Marshals Museum, Space Center Houston, Wahat Al Karama, and Universal Studios.

 

Cynthia has gained a reputation for combining creative approaches to exhibition and education development with a focused understanding of experiences as a means of advancing equity and inclusion, early childhood education, and visitor behavior. She also serves as the executive liaison for Thinkwell’s Diversity & Inclusion Council for our LA studio.

 

Prior to joining Thinkwell, Cynthia worked for the Museum of Science & Industry. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors in biology from Williams College, and a Master of Science in Genetics from the University of Chicago. Alongside an extensive list of publications, presentations, and panels, she has served on a variety of industry boards, and is currently a member of the Themed Entertainment Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is the recipient of the 2018 Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for executive leadership from the Association of Science-Technology Centers. In 2017, Cynthia co-founded Harriet B’s Daughters, a group that was created to mentor the next generation of themed entertainment and educational experience leadership and mindfully expand representation, inclusion, and diversity within guest experiences and creative content for cultural attractions, museums, and entertainment.


Awards

2020 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement
2018 ASTC Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Leadership, non-CEO
2013 Thea Award for Outstanding Attraction
2012 Thea Award for Outstanding Museum Exhibit
2011 Event Design Award for Best Museum Environment


Background

Museum of Science and Industry, Manager of Temporary and Traveling Exhibits


Education

Master of Science, Genetics, University of Chicago
Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Williams College


Memberships & Affiliations

Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Themed Entertainment Association
Past member, Eastern Board, Themed Entertainment Association
Past Chair, Traveling Exhibition Network
Former member, IAAPA Museum and Science Center Committee


Speaking Engagements

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
American Alliance of Museums
Association of Midwest Museums
Association of Science and Technology Centers
Creative Economy
TEA Summit
SATE